>> reporter: specialist kain schilling had been shot twice. white ran through a devastating barrage of fire to get to him. white repeatedly exposed himself to intense enemy fire in an effort to save them. >> i told myself from the beginning of the ambush i was going to die. if it's going to happen, it's just a matter of when, but why not try to do some good and help my guys out until that happens. >> today we pay tribute. >> reporter: at the white house, president obama presented white with the medal of honor. the nation's highest military decoration. there in the east room was his now lifelong friend, cain schilling, who says he owes everything to kyle white. >> i can never repay him for saving my life, but this is something he deserves. >> reporter: jim miklaszewski, nbc news, the pentagon. >> hero in the true sense. i know we say that word a lot, but that is the perfect example. >> being in that situation and making those decisions, unreal.